Thursday, April 30, 2009

Showdown: Obscure X-men vs. '80s hair metal bands

Wolverine: X-men OriginsImage by Satsukiame via Flickr

The X-men got big in the early 1980s. So did glam metal rock. That probably expalins why so many X-men codenames sound like the Saturday arena playbill at the New Jersey State Fair. Seriously, if you weren't a comic book fanboy, a line-up of Storm, Havok and Nightcrawler sounds like three acts that could open for Poison or Motley Crue.

Don't believe me? Take a gander down this list of 25 names, each of which is either an obscure X-man or an '80s hair metal band--and in some cases, both. See if you can tell which is with before scrolling down to see the descriptions.

  1. Great White - 80s hair band famous for the single "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" and for killing 100 or so people when their pyrotechnics display burned down a nightclub in 2003. Despite the death count, they should not be confused with the Batman villain, who appeared in the same year.
  2. Marrow - X-man grows bone-spurs through her skin that she can rip out and throw like daggers. Is that '90s enough for you?
  3. Petra - Both the name of both the first Christian Rock Band inducted into the Hard Rock cafe, and the name of a retconned rock-manipulating X-man.
  4. Maggott - X-Man who has two giant pet maggots that, when they eat anything, give him super-strength. Seriously. Also the nickname for Slipknot fans, but the less said about that, the better.
  5. White Queen - X-man Emma Frost, a diamond-fleshed telepath who used to be a villain until she started boning Cyclops.
  6. White Lion - Glam metal band known for the hits "Wait" and "When the Children Cry."
  7. King Kobra - Hair metal band famous for recording the title song from the movie Iron Eagle. Not to confused with the DC comics supervillain cult leader Kobra or the Marvel Comics supervillain cult leader, Cobra .
  8. Lifeguard - X-man capable of generating whatever power is needed to solve a problem, thanks to lame writing from Chris Claremont.
  9. Caliban - X-man who can sense other mutants; too bad he's a hideously ugly albino. There is a band called Caliban, but they're a German metalcore group and very much a product of the '90s.
  10. Vixen - All-girl glam metal band known for the single "Edge of a Broken Heart." There is a superhero named Vixen , but she's a DC property and Justice League member.
  11. Red Queen - X-man title shared by many, most notably of Madelyne Pryor, an evil cone of Jean Grey. Also an alternate universe Jean Grey. And an alternate universe Psylocke. There are a lot of Red Queens, okay.
  12. Omerta - X-man of Italian-American descent from Brooklyn who, when he discovers he is super-strong and invulnerable, tries to take over the local mafia. Somehow, this endears him to the X-men, who recruit him.
  13. Hurricane - Both an evil mutant enemy of the X-men as part of the Dark Riders, and a glam metal band known for the 1988 hit "I'm On To You."
  14. The Stepford Cuckoos - X-men group of invulnerable mutant quintuplets who share one hive-mind, bereft of emotion. Yeah, this is pretty obviously a Grant Morrison thing.
  15. Exodus - Both an early '80s thrash-metal band, and Magneto's insane, immortal, psionic second-in-command who, in an alternate universe, was a good-guy X-man. Yeah, another '90s creation.
  16. Nocturne - X-man daughter of Nightcrawler and Scarlet Witch from an alternate reality. Yes, there are lots of parallel universe X-men love-children. Why do you ask? Also the name of many songs and a 90s metal band.
  17. Jetboy - Glam band who got famous by having three singles on The 'Burbs soundtrack, "Bloodstone", "Locked in a Cage" and "Make Some Noise."
  18. Penance - X-man that was really a hollow invulnerable teenage-girl body that housed the minds of three separate teenage-girl X-men. Strangely, not a Grant Morrison invention.
  19. Stryper - Christian glam metal band from the '80s known for mainstream hits "Calling On You", "Free" and "Honestly."
  20. Stringfellow - X-man ally with the ability to temporarily turn your bones to spaghetti. Somehow this is scary.
  21. Nitro - Glam metal band known for lead singer Jim Gillette's ability to shatter wine glasses with his voice. There is a Spider-man villain named Nitro, be he isn't a mutant or an X-man.
  22. Helix - Canadian metal band known for the single "Rock You." There is a supervillain team called Helix , but they're from the DC universe and have never met the X-men.
  23. Giant - Glam metal band and one hit wonders known for the single "I'll See You In My Dreams."
  24. Trixter - '80s hard rock band perhaps best known for the single "Give It to Me Good." Not to be confused with the non-mutant supervillains who fought The Flash.
  25. Tuff - Mid-80s glam metal band known for the popular video to "I Hate Kissing You Goodbye."
If you passed this quiz with zero errors, you're defintely a child of the '80s--one who seriously needs to get out more.
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